Web-based media must be perhaps the most perilous spots to be in the 21st century. Many accept that the medium has gotten more negative than positive the lives of people.
There have been bunches of anecdotes about how individuals met somebody on Facebook or Instagram yet they get blackmailed or assaulted or even slaughtered by these individuals who are not what they posture to be on the media.
In 2012, Nigeria was awash with the sad and horrifying story of how the only daughter of a popular retired Major General in the Army, Frank Osokogu was killed by her Facebook acquaintances.
Her body was found a month after she was declared missing in a Lagos morgue.
According to Edujandon.com, investigations into the murder revealed that Cynthia was strangled to death in a hotel by her assailants, who thereafter left with an undisclosed amount, her student identity card, and phones.
Cynthia had met the undergraduates on Facebook and had been chatting for long. After months of chatting, they reportedly got to know that she owns a boutique in Nasarawa State following which they reportedly had a business proposal with her, promising to host her whenever she visited Lagos.
Nwabufor, the main valiant gave Cynthia an offer that she couldn’t refuse: a flight ticket to Lagos and decent hotel accommodation, where he would bring his business associates to meet her.
On her arrival at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, on July 22, 2012, she was reportedly picked up by the two undergraduates and driven to a hotel in Festac Town. Unknown to her, she was embarking on a journey of no return. At the hotel, her drink was reportedly drugged before she was raped and strangled to death.
Vanguard reliably gathered that after her death, one of her assailants left the room and later put a call to the hoteliers, informing them that there was a corpse in one of the rooms.
Sources informed that efforts by the hoteliers to contact the family of the deceased proved abortive as there was nothing to trace her close relatives or friends.
Meanwhile, back in Nasarawa State where her family is said to be based, apprehension had set in following her disappearance. She was, therefore, declared missing, with her pictures dropped at some police divisions in the state.
How the suspects were arrested
Vanguard reliably gathered that after the murder, the killers deleted all information and chats with the deceased from their Facebook.
But, along the line, the deceased phone was dialed and one of the suspects reportedly answered. When the call log was checked from the service provider, the receiver was traced to Festac Town in the Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area.
Again, the Close Circuit Television (CCTV) stationed in the hotel was said to have revealed the identities of the killers following which two of them were arrested, and their confessional statement led to the arrest of others.
During interrogation, the suspects reportedly confessed to have bought the drugs with which they drugged Cynthia’s drink from a pharmacist, thereby leading to his arrest.
It was at this point that her family was contacted. Vanguard reliably gathered that during the investigation, the two undergraduates confessed to have killed Cynthia.
They also reportedly confessed to belonging to a syndicate that specialised in luring unsuspecting rich women with the aim of dispossessing them of their belongings, particularly cash.
Cynthia, as gathered, was not their first victim, as they were said to have confessed to the police that she was their sixth victim.
Cynthia’s mother, Mrs. Joy Osokogu, had been making frantic efforts to reach her on phone for five days. The phone was switched off.
On the seventh day, the suspects answered the phone and told her that Cynthia was sick. Soon, they were asking her to pay a ransom not knowing that her daughter was already dead.
After the arrest, several other women came forward to say how they survived when they also fell victims into the hands of these same criminals, who had robbed them after they were drugged and tied up.
Police detectives, led by the then Area Commander of FESTAC Town, Mr. Dan Okoro, had with the aid of technology, arrested the four suspects.
After five years of trial, a Lagos State High Court in Igbosere sentenced, the main perpetrators, Okwumo Nwabufo and Olisaeloka Ezike to death by hanging.
They were arraigned on a six-count charge of conspiracy, murder, stealing, recklessness, negligence, and possession of stolen goods.
Before passing judgment, the judge asked the defendants if they had anything to say. The first and second defendant’s counsel, Victor Okpara and Emeka Eze made a plea of mercy.
Okpara said the first defendant was a first-time offender and had “tremendous energy to do something worthwhile with his life. I urge this court to grant him a reformative sentence.”
Reaching the judgment, she said: “I pronounce the judgment of this court upon you, Okwumo Nwabufo and Olisaeloka Ezike. Both of you should be hanged by the neck till you are dead. May the Lord have mercy on your souls.”
She, however, discharged and acquitted the two other accused persons, Orji Osita, a pharmacist said to have sold the drug the convicts used to subdue the deceased, and a brother to one of the convicts, Ezike Nonso, who was said to have received the stolen phones of the deceased.
What do you think about making acquaintance on social media? Is it safe enough to meet up with someone you have been chatting with on the medium?